A Feline Friendly Christmas

Christmas is a busy period in our practice and the team work especially hard to ensure that all of the animals and their owners have a safe and merry holiday.

To help, we’ve made a list of things to consider when decorating and celebrating, as well as some helpful tips to ensure a smooth, stress-free month.

cat peers up through the branched of festive tree

The Tree

Cats have a tendency to want to explore and climb Christmas trees – especially ones bursting with shiny, sparkly decorations. A toppling tree is not an unusual occurrence in a home with a cat!

To prevent this, consider using a quality, heavy tree base which is structurally unlikely to collapse. It’s also worth considering keeping your cat out of the room with the tree when you are not home.

Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that pine needles are very sharp and can cause severe damage if ingested. The natural oil coating of the needles may cause mild irritation to a cats mouth and skin.

Tip: Don’t put wrapped catnip toys beneath the tree or hang chocolate decorations from the tree branches. Cat’s often know and this can be a direct invitation for inquisitive felines.

Cat playing with decorations which hang from a Christmas tree

The Decorations

Cat’s, particularly young cats, really love to play. It’s a good idea to make sure that all of the decorations in your home are securely hung, in locations where cats cannot reach or, where the decoration will not break if it falls.

Tinsel is particularly attractive to cats due to its glitter, crinkle, and the way it resembles many cat toys. Please be wary of allowing them to play with tinsel, as it can cause serious internal issues if ingested.

We would suggest that you avoid placing real poinsettias, mistletoe or holly plants around the home. These, like lilies, are very poisonous to cats.

Tip: For cats with a tendency to chew, be sure to cover all wiring with plastic or cardboard coverings. Also, it’s worth considering LED battery powered lights as an alternative.

The Food

There is an abundance of rich food around during the holidays and while it’s super tempting to want to share it with your cat, we recommend that you avoid doing so.
Garlic, onions, chocolate, raisins, grapes and alcohol are all very poisonous to your cat. We particularly suggest that you avoid feeding your cat stuffing, gravy or fatty meat trimmings. Instead, there are lots of pet-friendly festive treats on the market such as Lily’s Kitchen.

Relaxed cat sleeping beneath a Christmas tree

Reducing Stress

With a lot happening in such a short period of time, the festive period can often be very stressful for all pets.

Consider putting decorations up over the course of a few days if you have a nervous cat to introduce changes to the home slowly, so that your cat may adjust.

We would recommend that you leave at least one room of the house untouched and unchanged so that your cat has somewhere familiar to hide. This is especially important if you have a lot of visitors or parties during the holidays.

Tip: If your pet is especially anxious, especially with fireworks, consider plugging in a Feliway diffuser in your home, or contact the practice for additional advice to help keep your pet calm and happy.

Final Considerations

  • If your pet is on medication, stock up before the holidays so you don’t get caught out. You can call the practice on 0141 339 1228, or order online here.

  • If you are going away for Christmas, make sure to organise a sitter or cattery in advance as they can be busy over the holiday period.